Maria Sharapova admitted on Monday to failing a drug test at the Australian Open in January. The tennis star will be provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation starting on March 12. Now, fans are reacting to the athlete’s confession. See reactions and video of her announcement below.
During Monday’s press conference, Sharapova revealed that she had been taking a drug called meldonium since 2006 to treat heart issues. There was never a problem with the drug until January 1, 2016. That’s when the World Anti-Doping Agency added meldonium to its list of banned substances, because there was evidence that it could be used as a performance enhancing drug.
Sharapova acknowledged that she was sent an email in December with an updated list of prohibited drugs, which now included meldonium, but said she never read it. The tennis player further stated she wasn’t aware the drug was illegal when she participated in January’s Australian Open, where she was defeated by rival Serena Williams.
A Twitter user named @TheTennisTalker defended Sharapova, noting, “To be fair… it was only banned this year. She has only played Aussie Open. She’s owned up.” Also in the tennis star’s corner was a person with the handle @jamestaylor20, who tweeted, “Very bold of Maria Sharapova to hold a press conference to admit her mistakes and hold her hands up for failing a drugs test!”
Over the years there has been speculation that Serena Williams may have used performance enhancers, prompting a person named @zackbeauchamp to point out, “It’s model-thin Maria Sharapova, not Serena Williams, who failed the doping test. Almost like the media rumors about Williams were racist.” Twitter user @cmclymer similarly expressed, “Imagine the response if Serena Williams failed a drug test and compare that to the next 48 hours of media coverage of Maria Sharapova.”
Referring to another famous case of an athlete coming under fire for drug use, @AkilahObviously argued, “They made Lance Armstrong give back his titles + medals. In meritocracy, that means Maria Sharapova owes Serena Williams ’04 Wimbledon + WTA.” And finally, a person with the handle @LisaVikingstad wrote, “Maria Sharapova took Meldonium for 10 years & people wonder for what condition. If Serena failed a drug test she’d be stripped of all awards.”
Fans React To Maria Sharapova Failing Drug Test – See Twitter Reactions
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